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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Church this morning - New Year Resolutions

I miss my home church but it was good to be back at Carey this morning, if a little weird to be the only student there!

Jonathan spoke on the subject of new year resolutions - looking at resolutions made by people in the Bible. It seems the NIV speaks just four times of men resolving to do things. But wow, what resolutions they were! (And what men, for that matter!)

Jehoshaphat's Resolve - 2 Chronicles 20:3
This really struck me. Mainly coz I spose it spoke directly into my situation at the moment. But look at this. So Judah's in trouble and Jehoshaphat is alarmed. What does he do? He resolves to enquire of the Lord.
That's amazing! Is that always the first thing I do when I'm alarmed/scared/worried/busy/too much on my plate? No, but it jolly well SHOULD be!!
And the people followed Jehoshaphat's lead...As Jonathan said, if only we, if I, would turn as instinctively and surely to the Lord in our own troubles in the coming year - what divine assuranceand courage we'd receive!

David's Resolve - Psalm 17:3
Psalm 17.
Another godly king in trouble - being slandered and persecuted by his enemies.
Again, what I do when I feel got at, when people are being mean, when things aren't going my way, when my friends and coursemates are grumbling about the I seek God or do I grumble?
In the midst of everything David was going through he doesn't respond to his enemies by their standards. He resolves that his mouth will not sin.
James 3 - pretty much a WHOLE CHAPTER on the dangers of the tongue. Philippians 4:8 shows us what our conversation SHOULD be like. (See also Colossians 4:6, and Ephesians 4:29.) Oh please God, more like this let me be! And how? By His grace, and through prayer, as David prays in Psalm 141:3.

Daniel's Resolve - Daniel 1:8
Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food because he was in exile, his people were suffering, and he wouldn't indulge himself in those circumstance, it would have seemed like treason. Spiritually, as Christians, we're in the same condition in this fallen world - we are to live as aliens and strangers here and have a keener conscience, feeding less on what the world offers, and more on spiritual food.

Paul's Resolve - 1 Corinthians 2:2
This sums up all the others. Paul laid aside his worldly wisdom, thinking and reasoning (1 Corinthians 1:25). All he wanted, and what he resolved was for Christ to be his whole delight and the message of the gospel to be all he was known for. What a new year's resolution! That the whole direction of our lives this year might be that we shall "know nothing...except Jesus Christ and him crucified"!


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